Press your point: How to plan the perfect press conference

9 May 2018


Successfully executing the perfect event for the press is a challenge. Get it right, and your organisation will get blanket positive media coverage. Failure to deliver risks ridicule and lost business.

Consider Marvel Studios’ Iron Man. The end scene, which kick-started a decade of superhero movies, saw billionaire inventor Tony Stark host a press conference to explain away a rooftop battle that destroyed part of his business facility. Everything should have gone to plan:

  • He was well prepared;
  • Knew what the aim of the event was; and
  • Had invited the right media personnel to communicate his intended message to his target audience (customers and stockholders).

Despite this preparation, in one fell swoop he spectacularly failed to deliver his meaning, announcing his superhero identity and disrupting the entire event.

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Robert Downey Jr. played Tony Stark to perfection, capturing the character’s unorthodox communication style. 

Executing everything right comes down to so many little details that any number of things could cause failure. So here’s a quick guide on how to plan the perfect press conference.

Why hold a press conference?

Before you pick up a microphone, you should know why hosting a press conference is so effective when done correctly:

  • You can provide more information to the public than in a written press release, and use the interactive question and answer time to paint your business in a positive light.
  • A press conference offers the chance to address negative publicity in a more personal way.
  • The buzz generated from a press conference lends itself to greater public exposure, with the press’ appearance also making your enterprise seem attention-worthy.

Consider these points carefully – a press conference offers numerous benefits, but you need to ensure this is the type of event that will do your message the most justice.

What’s your message?

Figuring out this beforehand is absolutely vital. If you don’t know what you want to communicate in advance, your speech or presentation will come across as confused, and this will lead viewers to form a negative opinion about your business.

Press conferences should be clear and simple, so focus on delivering one key message only. Whether that’s announcing the launch of a new product or informing the public about company news, everyone in the room should be able to summate your event in a few short sentences.

This message should be reinforced with press kit information or visual aids, to ensure everyone understands your point. It’s also worth running through the event several times in practice, to ensure your speaker and others are clear on how everything should proceed.

The aim of your press conference should be clear to everyone, the press and your target audience alike.The aim of your press conference should be clear to the press and your target audience alike.

Choosing the time, people and location


  • Choosing the right time is essential – too early and the media will struggle to get there; too late and you’ll be pushing against news deadlines.
  • Giving plenty of notice and through the right channels (both online and in writing) ensures you get the right people to attend.


  • You need to invite the media outlets that are likely to reach your target audience or customers, so carefully consider the press you want in attendance.


  • Choose a location that’s close to all local media outlets, and ensure everyone knows how to get there and that there is plenty of parking nearby.
  • Your space has to be perfectly rigged with microphones and other equipment – outdoor events are risky, and somewhere too small or large will throw your event vibe off.

What else do I need to press my point?

Once you’ve sorted these details, it’s time to go out and execute your press conference. But wait… where are the microphones and speakers? What other equipment did I need? Where do I even get this stuff? These points are often left to the last minute but are so crucial to success.

To really ensure everything comes together perfectly, you need the help of event production and design experts. CMS Australasia is a one-stop shop for all the equipment and expertise you will need to host the perfect press conference. For more information, contact the team to request a proposal.